Anger is not to be trusted; it is not so just and righteous as it seemeth to be. Of all passions this is most apt to be justified. As Jonah said to God, ‘I do well to be angry,’ Jonah 4:9, so men are apt to excuse their heats and passions, as if they did but express a just indignation against an offence and wrong received. Anger, like a cloud, blindeth the mind, and then tyranniseth over it. There is in it somewhat of rage and violence; it vehemently exciteth a man to act, and taketh away his rule according to which he ought to act. All violent concitations of the spirit disturb reason, and hinder clearness of debate; and it is then with the soul as it is with men in a mutiny, the gravest cannot be heard; and there is in it somewhat of mist and darkness, by which reason, being beclouded, is rather made a party than a judge, and doth not only excuse our passion, but feed it, as being employed in representing the injury, rather than bridling our irrational excess. Well, then, do not believe anger. Men credit their passion, and that foments it. In an unjust cause, when Sarah was passionate, you see how confident she is, Gen. 16:5, ‘The Lord judge between me and thee.’ It would have been ill for her if the Lord had umpired between her and Abraham. It was a strange confidence, when she was in the wrong, to appeal to God. You see anger is full of mistakes, and it seemeth just and righteous when it doth nothing less than work the righteousness of God. The heathens suspected themselves when under the power of their anger. ‘I would beat thee,’ saith one, ‘if I were not angry.’1 When you are under the power of a passion, you’ have just cause to suspect all your apprehensions; you are apt to mistake others, and to mistake your own spirits. Passion is blind, and cannot judge; it is furious, and hath no leisure to debate and consider.

—Thomas Manton
The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, 4:139–140.


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